Demi Lovato was seen at Young Women’s Leadership School in East Harlem for their “Drama Free School Year” anti-bullying assembly. Lovato was there to inspire students to “gang up for good” causes against girl-to-girl bullying. The 20-year-old “X Factor” judge is now the “Secret” deodorant’s brand “Mean Stinks” Ambassador.
“I had a personal experience with bullying. I actually ended up leaving middle school because I had dealt with really crazy verbal harassment that I just couldn’t take anymore,” she told MTV News at the school. “I didn’t really have anybody to look up to that was raising the awareness in the public spotlight, so I want to be that role model for other young people.”
During the event, Lovato shared her story with the all-girl student body and even gave some helpful hints on how they could inspire change among their classmates and friends. “Demi said to turn something negative into a positive, like how she turned her bullying into her successful music career,” 14-year-old Min Liang said.
Superfan Sofia Sanchez also took Lovato’s advice to heart, explaining it’s not just the singer’s words that she relates to.
“Her music is, like, really inspiring because it tells her story and she’s been through a lot, so her music shows that,” Sanchez said. “You should never stoop down to a bully’s level, and be strong and don’t be afraid to be yourself.”
Lovato, who took home her first Moonman at this year’s VMAs after her “Skyscraper” won Best Video With a Message, said two wrongs don’t make a right. Instead of retaliating against a bully, Lovato encouraged young people to channel their energy into more positive outlets like school work or pursuing their dreams.